TAP Portugal to Introduce Daily Non-Stops to Lisbon on New A330 Aircraft From New York’s JFK and Boston Logan Airports

JetBlue Founder David Neeleman Returns to JFK to Announce Partnership With His Former Airline

NEW YORK, Feb. 22, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TAP Portugal today announced new daily non-stop service to Lisbon from both New York’s John F. Kennedy International and Boston’s Logan International airports.  Launch fares for the new routes start sales today from just $ 799 USD (tax included), for roundtrip travel.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/e0e42a7c-c142-44cd-bb44-60e8ea5bcb3b

The new daily Boston service starts on June 11 and the new JFK daily flights commence on July 1. Both will be operated with new Airbus A330 aircraft to be delivered in June. In addition, TAP also serves Lisbon from Miami and from Newark. These routes will grow to daily service this summer, and TAP also serves Oporto twice weekly from Newark. Altogether, TAP’s US service will grow to 30 flights per week.

Flights will depart JFK at 23:30, arriving at Lisbon at 11:30 (next day).  Returning flights leave Lisbon at 17:00, arriving at JFK at 20:00.  From Boston, flights will depart at 19:45, arriving at Lisbon at 07:20 (next day).  Returning flights leave Lisbon at 14:25, arriving at Boston at 17:00. 

“I congratulate TAP Portugal and welcome their return to JFK, where we recently announced record-breaking passenger numbers for 2015, including 30 million international air travelers,” Port Authority Aviation Director Thomas L. Bosco said. “I wish our friends at TAP Portugal, who’ve been such great partners at Newark Liberty International Airport, the same success on the launch of their Lisbon service at JFK – the premier international gateway to the United States.”

“It is only fitting that Portugal’s oldest airline now led by David Neeleman, an aviation innovator, would want to fly daily between  Lisbon and Boston,” said Massport CEO Thomas P. Glynn. “Massachusetts is known for its innovation and it has the highest percentage of residents of Portuguese descent of any state.”

“It’s really exciting to expand TAP’s international service now to four U.S. gateway cities, thus offering North American travelers  easy and convenient flights to Lisbon, Europe’s first gateway, as well as connectivity to further destinations beyond,” said Fernando Pinto, TAP’s Chief Executive Officer.

”Beyond the additional flights, which is important, it’s exciting that TAP is also adding new aircraft with a new cabin configuration for a much improved customer experience,” said David Neeleman, CEO of DGN Corp, partner in Atlantic Gateway, shareholders in TAP. “Of course, on a personal level, it’s wonderful to be back at JFK and Logan and working with JetBlue again to provide easy connections from cities around the U.S. to Lisbon.”

David Neeleman was joined at JFK’s Terminal 5 today by Scott Laurence, JetBlue’s Senior Vice President Airline Planning, to unveil the two airlines’ new partnership agreement.  JetBlue flights from more than 20 U.S. cities will feed the JFK, Boston and Newark routes with convenient connecting flights.  TAP will operate from JetBlue’s Terminal 5 at JFK and Terminal C at Logan.

“JetBlue is proud to help fueling the ongoing growth of international air carrier service to Boston and New York and are excited to welcome TAP into our homes in both cities,” said Robin Hayes, JetBlue’s president and CEO. “As our 45th airline partner, TAP customers will benefit from seamless access to the JetBlue network with reduced connecting times in our state-of-the-art airport facilities. And JetBlue customers will benefit from an expanded list of international nonstop destinations from our two northeast focus cities.”

TAP plans to promote Portugal vigorously as a vibrant and exciting tourism destination, and Lisbon as a prime gateway into Europe for North American travelers.  The airline is launching a promotional campaign and other initiatives to promote Portugal in the U.S. and provide American travelers with an incentive program encouraging them to choose Lisbon as the preferred stopover when flying to or from Europe. 

In order to prompt its expansion in the USA, TAP is taking delivery of two additional Airbus A330’s, its long-haul fleet increasing thus to 20 aircraft. TAP’s new Executive Class cabin boasts 20 lie-flat seats from Stelia Solstys, plus new slim-line Zim EC01 seats in other cabins, now with a 34’’ seat pitch in Economy Plus and a 31” pitch in Economy.  Passengers also will enjoy the most advanced audio and visual systems using the most up-to-date Panasonic EX-3 in-flight individual on-demand entertainment system. 

After being completely renovated and retrofitted with all new seats, lighting and entertainment systems as well as new galleys lavatories, these aircraft are consistent with the most recent generation of aircraft in the world in their class. With seat capacity for 271 passengers – 20 in Executive Class, 104 in Economy Plus and 147 in Economy – the A330 aircraft are leading the way with the new configuration into which the entire  TAP fleet of A330-200s is to be retrofitted from 2017 onward.

Additionally, TAP recently announced an order for 53 new Airbus aircraft; € 60 million for the cabin retrofit of TAP current fleet; € 11 million to retrofit 12 A320-family aircraft with sharklet devices and the complete renewal of the regional fleet that will operate at TAP Express.

* Routes subject to governmental approval

About TAP Portugal

TAP is Portugal’s leading airline, and member of Star Alliance, the global airline alliance to offer customers worldwide reach, since 2005. In operation since 1945, TAP celebrated 70 years on March 14, 2015, and has completed its privatization process in 2015, with the Atlantic Gateway Group now as new private shareholders of its share capital. TAP's hub in Lisbon is a key European gateway at the crossroads of Africa, North, Central and South America, where TAP stands out as the international leading carrier in operation to Brazil. The company’s network currently comprises 81 destinations in 34 countries worldwide. TAP currently operates about 2,500 weekly flights in average on a modern fleet of 61 Airbus aircraft and 16 aircraft operating in PGA colours, and with TAP's regional carrier, adding up to a 77 aircraft fleet in the whole. Within the vast restructure program currently going across the company as the outcome of its privatization process, TAP has already announced its Network restructure, its medium and long haul fleet renewal program as of 2017 and the retrofit of the fleet currently in operation as well as the launch of the new branded product TAP Express, which will soon replace PGA and operate a new fleet of 8 ATR 72 and 9 Embraer 190. In the pursuit of its customer focused policy, TAP continuously strives to deliver safe, reliable and upgraded products & services, tailored to meet customers’ expectations. Retaining the Portuguese character of the Company’s brand and quality service as the basic concept has been the main driver of TAP's strategy in most recent years. Recognized and awarded as the Europe’s Leading Airline to Africa as well as Europe’s Leading Airline to South America by the World Travel Awards in 2015 and 2014, the company was also awarded as the WTA World’s Leading Airline to Africa in 2011 and 2012 and the WTA World’s Leading Airline to South America in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Voted Best Airline in Europe in 2011, 2012, 2013 and again in 2015 by the Global Traveler, USA, the company was also honored by UNESCO and by the International Union of Geological Sciences with the IYPE “Planet Earth Award 2010”, in the category of “Most Innovative Sustainable Product”. TAP was also voted Best Airline by Condé Nast Traveller Magazine in 2010 and Best Portuguese Tourism Company by the specialized magazine Marketeer, in 2011.

For further informationplease go to www.flytap.com.

About JetBlue

JetBlue is New York's Hometown Airline™, and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Los Angeles (Long Beach), Orlando, and San Juan. JetBlue carries more than 35 million customers a year to 95 cities in the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America with an average of 900 daily flights. For more information please visit jetblue.com.

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